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The Troy All Dogs Playgroup Message Board › Need HELP with getting rid of Hawk

Need HELP with getting rid of Hawk

A former member
Post #: 1
Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 11:30 AM, <> wrote:

I am wondering if anyone can offer some advice. I need to know how to get rid of a hawk that is hanging around my backyard. I have a little chihuahua and a little mini dachhound. I am sure it is hanging around for them. I have a large yard with lots of huge trees. The dogs are in a smaller fenced in area, but I am still worried sick that this hawk will get them. I watch the dogs when outside, but from what I've read it will try to take them even if I'm out there with them. I've seen it sitting in a tree 10 feet from me and doesn't seem to have any fear. Does anyone know how to get rid of this thing?
Thank you,
A former member
Post #: 55
I would think the same thing. I didn't know hawks were in this area. Maybe try calling a wild life place, warren animal control should have a number. They may be able to come and capture the bird and take him to an area that is more suitable for a bird who hunts small animal for food. Other than that I don't think there is much you can do, I think it will stick around now that it has seen "food". Good luck.
Madison Heights, MI
Post #: 13
I was standing in the yard the other day just cleaning up twigs and my dog was digging a hole, the hawk swooped down and landed on my roof, not 5 feet from me and Casey--was really not happy--have been watching very carefully for the last week when Casey is outside.
Group Organizer
Troy, MI
Post #: 2,414
There are tons of hawks around here! Have been for years! We have larger dogs, so we tend to leave dead branches available for perches for hawk and owls.....
The most common species I see here are Red Tails, Red Shoulders, Sharp Shins, Broad Winged, Cooper's and Northern Harriers in the thumb area.

OK, half a dozen things to mention-- most importantly, state and federal laws protect all raptors. No killing, no trapping.

Then. all hawks hunt in the daytime but will use the subdued evening light for cover when pursuing prey. Different hawks use different hunting tactics- depending on the their habitat and prey that is available. Buteos like the red-tailed hawk will soar on thermals to search for small mammals or they will sit in a tree and watch for movement on the ground. These hawks are often seen perched in trees along roadsides. Accipters like the sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks will actively pursue prey through the trees. These hawks prey mostly on songbirds and are the hawks one will most likely see coming to their bird feeders.

Do you have bird feeders out? This is the primary cause of the hawk's closeness, NOT the small dogs. The birdseed attracts not only the lovely songbirds (who are prey to hawks) but also mice, voles, and various rodentia (chipmunks, squirrels) who are also natural hawk prey. So, if you have bird feeders out, take them down for a week. The hawk will look elsewhere for prey.

Next, the most common here, the Red-tailed Hawk is a opportunistic hunter. Its diet is varied, but there is conclusive evidence now that 85 to 90 % is composed of small rodents, with rabbits, snakes and lizards included. Where there are large numbers of pheasant, these become the food of choice in spring and summer. Red Tails typically weigh 2-4 lbs, and their largest prey, rabbits weigh 1-3 lbs typically. The hawks are only able to lift double their weight, and only then for a short distance (into a tree). I'm thinking your dogs weigh more than that.... and that hawk knows he could not lift the dog. Plus there would be all the yipping and squirming.

I then checked Snopes, the urban legend site. There are various mentions of birds snatching dogs---most are eagles and 2 lb dogs and even then, the bird can't hold the weight and drops the dog. And no names are ever mentioned, which means it's still an urban legend. As for hawks, one lady fended off a hawk who wanted her chihuahua, but the hawk didn't make contact. Not to say that if a hawk tried to get a tiny dog, there wouldn't be talon damage.

OK, you can't kill the hawk. If you have bird feeders, you need to remove them. Here are the other tips: cover the area or part of it with open-work netting. Hang mylar reflective strips the trees to catch light and reflect. Throw old AOL intro CDs around or hand them from trees. (this one doesn't totally make sense to me; hawk eyesight is 8x better than humans. why would shiny flash bother it?) Slingshot-- aim for anywhere near the bird with anything nonlethal. same goes for paintball shooters, and water spray- You want to annoy the hawk more than the 'food' is worth.

So the bottom line is you can't shoot or harass the hawk, it's federally protected. The hawk probably doesn't want your dog, even if Casey is darn cute. The hawk can't lift anything over , say, 4 lbs and is really eyeing the chipmunk or squirrel that just ran thru the yard and hid when the dog came out.

The best advice from me? Try to get a good picture of the hawk. Stay with the dogs while they're outside. Throw things and yell at the hawk if he gets any closer. Make the dogs wear silly shirts that say 'I am not a rat'.

good luck-
Amanda P.
user 9596158
Madison Heights, MI
Post #: 16
I find it unlikely that anything as small as a hawk would be interested in a dog. As Karen mentioned, it could be bird feeders placed by either yourself or even your neighbors. That attracts the birds, squirrels, and even mice and rats to feed, and therefore the hawks will be around to feed on them. Just keep an eye on your little guys and maybe use a leash when they go out to do business if you still feel unsure. Unless it has nested nearby, it will probably head off for elsewhere once the food supply is depleted. By chance have you seen an increase in snakes? I have been hearing that Madison Heights and some parts of Warren have been having an issue with mice and rats. Snakes mean mice in the area, and that could cause hawks to hang around as well.
A former member
Post #: 16
Yes, Madsion and Warren have rat problems. While there is a food source (and since Red Run seams to be a good hunting ground for them) you will not be able to get rid of the hawks.
In my area there are two hawks that I can ID. One downed a bird in my front yard.

I once tried to chase feral cats away with a slingshot and airsoft gun. Neighbors in the apartments called the cops.
Unless you are really friendly with your neigbors and they know what you are up to, may I suggest not aiming a slingshot near the bird? What about a nerf gun? A cheap $8-10 gun has a range of up to 20 feet. Darts are inexpensive but my dogs love to chew my darts. Please watch your dogs/darts as I know the foam can't be good for them.

Hopefully you will be able to enjoy the flying rodent removal speciallists, and your dogs will still enjoy thier yard.
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